Breaking the Siege.

He stood tall and proud. Ready to defend to his last breath, to die to protect the most scared place that existed, in his heart, mind and soul. Mount Arreat and within, the World Stone.. Horragath was the last bastion of the barbarian hordes that sought to defend the mountain from Baal and his advancing horde of demons. Horragath was under siege. However, he had no regrets.

He had left his homelands several winters ago to broaden his horizons. In exchange, he had fought many enemies, and crushed all who stood against him. He had walked the Plains of the Rouges, wandered the Deserts of Lut Gholein, the jungles and swamps, e corrupted members of the Zakarun Order within Travinical. He could not forget his battles within hell itself, against demons of all shapes and sizes. He had not forgotten the advice and guidance of the Archangel Tyreal, and of course Decard Cain within the safety of the Pandemonium Fortress.

He had conquered both Diablo, the Lord of Terror, and also, Myfesto, the Lord of Hate, now the last of the three prime evils, Baal, Lord of Destruction had sent his minions ravaging through his homelands, and he had returned to defend them to his last dying breath. He had conquered two of the evil triumvirate, he would conquer the last, or he would die in the attempt.

His combat experience, and the trophies he bore earned him the title Champion and Slayer within the barbarian hordes. But there was precious little left of the over 150,000 warriors, they could muster a bare few thousand now. The demonic hordes had been without end, stretching down the mountain to the east, seemingly as far back as where the sun itself rose.

However, he waited and watched for the arrival of some others. A few good friends who were all champions like him. His time in the world had demonstrated to him, repeatedly that there was no dishonor in asking for the assistance of others when it is needed most. A yell from a lookout broke his daydream. In an instant, he had drawn both of his massive war hammers, both magical and enchanted, socketed with gems and runes to increase their potency and their damage abilities upon the field of combat. He shrugged his broad shoulders and felt the harpoons rattle comfortably in their quivers.

They had gained some ground against those besieging Horragath, but the challenge was not to gain ground, but to push forward, and break the siege. He hoped that his friends, would see him through more than just this one siege, but stand with him to the end.

He saw the approaching... skeletons and his grip upon his weapons tightened as his muscles tensed, the adrenalin, flowing freely through his blood. As the leader, he would be the first to charge in to the fray. He raised his arms, moments before the war cry would have left his lips, the skeletons, as one, stopped, and parted.

Through the ranks of the skeletons, came forth a single man with his cape billowing in the gentle breeze, encased in black armor, holding a sword and shield in his hands. He recognized the man at once, "Necrosia!"

The man looked among the barbarians before he spotted his friend, "Eristarisis! Su bha an kuth tovarisch?"

"Yu gulath ile bi la kaifa," replied Eristarisis.

Behind the Necromancer, emerged an Amazon warrior, her bow, with an arrow upon its string, slack. A rarity among Amazons, she stood encased in an ancient armor with a shimmering glow surrounding her. Her bow drew murmurs from the watching warriors. How often do you see a Eaglehorn Crusader Bow? To the Amazon's left, stood a tall woman, waving a bladed battle staff, her loose robes drawn tight around her, hiding her armor, apart from her well-worn demon hide gloves and boots. Rings that glowed with power decorated her fingers and seemed to be part of the same set as the amulet that sparkled in the winter sun, "Sorceress Estryer, Amazon Valkyr, Su bha an kuth tovarisch?"

The reply to the traditional greeting came smoothly from both, in unison, "Yu gulath ile bi la kaifa"

The barbarians relaxed as there was no threat, but outsiders here to assist in their defense, it was, unusual. There had been no help when the hordes of the demon and their mutant spawn had overrun line upon line of defense, sacrificing their lives to allow their demon lord and master Baal to close upon the summit of Mount Arreat. Where the Ancients guarded the entrance of the mountain, where the World Stone lay.

The air reeked of blood and offal; both human and demon spawn alike. Malah, the only healer left in Horragath, was overworked, and under supplied, the wounds inflicted by the demon spawn were not normal, refusing to heal and eventually killed the wounded. The fortunate were those who died outright, without prolonged suffering. Those who were injured would suffer, and suffer greatly, their cries of pain shattering the peace, however little of it that remained, reminding those still with weapons, why they fought and what they stood to defend.

Eristarisis smiled. With the power of the necromancer, they could swell the ranks by another hundred warriors easily, in both warriors and mages. While not very strong, they would be able to break the demonic hordes using their own tactics, superior numbers. There were bodies aplenty, both demon and human. It would mean a piecemeal engagement, not the traditional, stand and deliver combat favored by the tribes.

Necrosia pulled the dagger from his hip, and ran a horizontal slash across his palm and recited the incantations, as his blood dripped to the ground; he finished and cut another lash in his hand creating a bleeding cross in the palm of his hand. He stamped it upon a cracked sword and called out, "Yi binit Izhe, al qurotez!"

The ground shook as buildings trembled, before the rising of over 40 skeletal warriors, an army of shields wielding swords of many types, cleavers, axes or battle darts. The golems reared, the mighty steel or flame enchanted stone battle fist, another army of 12 steel and fire golems, and another 20 skeletal mages. The mages crackled with fire blast spells and lighting spells, among the few with poison mingling among their magical arrows.

The enemy commander, a demon no less, named Shenk, commanded and the siege merely a half days march away. Break the siege upon Horragath. That was their first goal. And Baals death would follow after that. The barbarian hordes did not have the strength for a full frontal assault as they preferred, and were forced in to a series of hit and fade attacks and probing assaults to determine the strength of the hell spawns defensive positions.

Heavily dug in and well entrenched, demonic catapults rained barrages of fire, ball lightning, deadly poison gas, as demonic spell casters hurled spells upon these scouts from the safety the relative safety of barricade towers. However, a weakness was found, a weakness that could be exploited.

Necrosia led his troops on a wide flanking maneuver and sent his summoned minions against the barricades and defenders, laughing, as his hand bleed freely. For every one of his minions that fell, he was capable of raising another, and another, and another. Using his curses, he blinded and weakened enemies before they encountered his minions, even as volley after volley of deadly arrows and spells flew forth, providing cover for the advancing barbarian horde which charged, side by side, shoulder to shoulder with the undead and the summoned, seeking victory, or death in combat.

Eristarisis was first in with both of his war hammers swinging wildly in double swing motions as he crush and shattered the bones of the enemy, with a furious war cry, he charged onwards. He shattered a hole in the defensive wall, which was made large by several more barbarians as they charged through attacking anything that moved.

The collective roar of the barbarians and the ferocity of their assault against the defensive of the hell spawn, wavered before collapsing, shocked by the sudden brutality of an assault by an enemy they thought weak beyond any hope of recovery.

Demonic spell casters were caught in bone cages as bone walls blocked the enemy from advancing, herding them in to small areas, in to which deadly spells were flung, with a rain of bolts and arrows that darkened the already smoke and fire filled sky even further.

The rapid slaughter of the enemy, and those in retreat meant little as the horde, savored its victory. Eristarisis roared in victory with his brothers until, from beyond the hill ahead did the enemy's true strength reveal itself. A wave, more a wall of hell spawn, primarily composed of Crush Beasts and Demon Imps advanced. Disfigured demons, without a name, held their blades high as they marched in lockstep, shaking the ground, the pounding of their feet, echoing, audible. The ice on the peak of nearby mountain, shattered, the avalanche pounding down the side of the slope, not coming near the soon to be blood stained ground of this battle zone, but arguably, revealing the numbers, which in lay the strength of the demon horde, multitudes more of them, in an unwavering wall of death and destruction. Slay one, and two shall take the fallen ones place.

The broken demonic fortifications at their back, it did not take them long to prepare themselves for the demonic rush. Their death was at hand. Eristarisis saw the immediate future, and smiled the grim smile of one who knows death's orgy of death and destruction, bloodbath and slaughter was to ensue. Quickly he began yelling battle orders to those around him

"Necrosia! Bone walls, three or four layers thick. Place your minions between each layer of the wall. When I give you the signal, destroy the bodies of those who have fallen. Estrayer, Valkyr, Find some higher ground. We will need support fire! Warriors, Rally!" he shouted, "Our purpose is to break through and push forward! We destroy their commander and they will fall! Arise! Arise Defenders of Horragath! Arise Defenders of Mount Arreat! Blades will shatter, shields will crumble! However, Death shall claim their lives and their spirits will not find peace! We crush them beneath our heel, and we march to victory!"

Around him, the horde erupted in a deafening roar, as their enemy held their own lines and formation, perhaps a fifty meters away, close enough for their rancid stench to be palatable, but not yet overwhelming in its nature. He turned to Larzuk, "I hope those things work..."

Larzuk only nodded, "They'll work. I built them after all. And the Lances?"

The Sorceress turned to speak to them, energy crackling between her fingers as she readied her first spell for the coming battle, "The Bright Lances are distributed among your forces. They know what to do with them."

The demon spawn began their advance, and Larzuk readied his surprises. As one, two dozen metal cylinders, their bases packed with explosive liquid, and atop them, a weapon of the ancients, Greek Fire.

Greek Fire, or Napalm, roared over the heads of the defenders and splashed down among the ranks of the demons, causing chaos and disorder among them ranks. The demons fell, aptly burned to a crisp, other mortally wounded, but their fear of their commander and their even greater fear of Baal kept them advancing.

His warriors and friends moved in to position as Necrosia, did as instructed, constructing walls of bone with his warriors between their layers, casting curse after curse at the enemy, weakening and blinding them as they slammed in to the first wall, causing it to shudder, creak and groan like an old man rising from a chair before it splintered.

Another barrage of Greek Fire and even more of the demon spawn were decimated. Several of the walking skeletons fell, but they were merely reborn. Necrosia hastily took a gulp from his healing potions and felts it calming, soothing and healing effects take hold, washing his body in a gentle wave of pleasure, but failed to heal the wound in his hand. The wound, the mark of the Necromancer, would never fully heal. The walls had slowed them, and more importantly, angered them as their comrades were cut down around them. The point was not to break their morale, that would be difficult if not nearly impossible to do, the purpose was to anger them, as angry foes make stupid mistakes.

Estryer looked down, hovering above the battlefield, as she unleashed spell after spell from her fingers. Deadly three headed fire-breathing hydras among the clouds of poison and blades of ice. Drawing upon the magical energy within her, she teleported, shifting slightly to the side as several fire enchanted spears or arrows, flew past her. Some like it hot, other like it cold. She unleashed the Blizzard, stunning and slowing down all who were caught in its path, as the icicles fell, like a rain of blades to spear in to the chests, shoulders, neck and back of the demon spawn, slaying dozens with a single spell, laying even more open as their injuries took hold.

The first of the demon spawn to splinter a hole in the last line of the bone wall were cut down, as Valkyr strafed them with arrows. She slung the spend bow on to her back and un-slung the spear and pulled a javelin from her quiver upon her back and threw it with all her strength, the incantation clear in her mind. The Javelin flew forth, leaving a trail of sparks in its wake. It pierced the hide of some hell spawn before chain lightning erupted from it, causing it to scream in pain as the lightning consumed it and several of its surrounding comrades.

Eristarisis held his ground as the last of the bone walls shattered under the combined assault of over a thousand demon and hell spawn. They charged forth, a roar issuing from their collective mouths. The Barbarians, weapons raised, muscles tensed, readied themselves, unmoving, waiting for the order.

Their stench was now clearly not he result of poor hygiene among the demons, its was another weapon, after a fashion, to drive fear and terror in to the heart of those who would dare to stand against the Demon Hordes of Baal. No Fear, death in combat, an honorable way to die and end their lives.

Ten feet before the ranged battle degenerated in to a wild melee, as every Barbarian warrior held himself, tense, muscles coiled, waiting for the command, to launch themselves in to this battle, "HOLD!" he shouted, "As one! Hold the line! Do not falter!"

Nine feet away and another section of the bone wall collapsed in upon itself, creating a second gap for the demons to pour through, only to be devoured by the flames and javelins of an avenging Sorceress and an indignant Amazon. With ease they drove the Demons back through the breach, ensuring the continuity of the battle strategy.

Seven, six, five, four...

"Now!" he shouted.

The barbarians, as one entity, dropped to one knee and raised their pikes. The advancing demon horde was unable to stop as the first few ranks impaled themselves, as pike splintered and then shattered under the combined weight of the demonic horde. The Bright Lances lived up to their names and reputations, as they glowed white, a purifying light that evaporated the flesh, blood and bone of any demon that they touched, a never ending stream of demon spawn perished upon the tips of the Lances.

Broken bodies littered the field of war "Necrosia," Barbarian Commander Eristarisis howled, "NOW!"

The demons, thrown in to disarray, panicked as the bodies of their fallen comrades detonated from the Corpse Explosion curse cast by Necrosia. Throughout their ranks, the corpses detonated, showering those around them in a red spray of internal organs and acidic blood, as the concussive force of the curse sent many reeling to the ground. Of the thousands of demon spawn that had charged, the few hundred defenders had more than turned the tide, they were about to hand the hell raised spawn their first defeat, and a decisive one at that.

The barbarians charged, Eristarisis in the lead as he swung both war hammers, crushing the skulls of two of his many foes, whirling round, as he danced under the reach of a Crush Beast and hammered its flank with both 'hammers. All around, the barbarians fought, crushing, mauling and killing their foes who hastened on to the retreat, even as the barbarian hordes stood their ground and roared their challenge to the retreating backs of the broken and shattered lines of demon spawn, not even bothering with a rear guard to buy themselves the time escape, which cost them dearly. The barbarians had the bloodlust upon themselves now, as they charged forward in a wall of death, slaying anything that dared to stand in their way.

Several demons were foolish enough to charge back in to the fray, and were instantly slaughtered. From her position over the field of combat, Estrayer unleashed several more fireballs and lightning bolts at her retreating foes. The barbarians held the field at the end of the day, and they retreated. With no real enemy left upon the battlefield, the barbarians reformed their ranks, and march on. Skeletal Warriors rose again from the dead, as did their mage companions, the golems having no role in the assault, left behind to defend and slaughter any demon that wandered to close to the warded village.

There were still some wounded, among others that remained in was remained of the Village, or rather, the outpost upon the side of Mount Arreat. They would need a place to return to, and the Golems, well, they would definitely deter any minor demon or minion of hell from meandering in to the guarded areas.

Saying a quick prayer to the forces of Light for strength and courage to do what must be done, He lead his band, of now two hundred, along their march, or rather approach, as they snuck their way closer and closer, to Shenk's encampment.

The found his encampment, as the sun began its lazy descent, bringing on the darkness of night. A large sprawling encampment, with several different groups of structures, but they needed to find the tent that belonged to this Shenk. And slay him. As the master and commander of these forces, his death would be their undoing. A long studied and proven fact of demonic armies is that without the commander, they cannot function, merely remain lifeless and static. Granted, the demonic equivalent of a Lieutenant could rally a small group of warriors to his command, and that there were numerous Lieutenants, reasserting control was not an easy process. Moreover, in the time it took them to do so, the few hundred warriors would sweep like a plague through the demon army's ranks, devouring them in a swarm of blades and shattered skulls.

To make end vision become reality however, they would have to find the Demonic taskmaster.

"Any ideas?" the Blood Master, or necromancer as asked, quietly, his eyes glowing with the pale green glow of his kind, the darkness making his eye flare like emeralds, cats eye shining out in to the darkness, even as he stood, almost invisible in the black cloak of shadows he wore around himself.

"Slipping in to the camp to find him?"

"I could try scrying for him, but if he detects me, he'll know we're coming long before we can get to him"

The three paused as they turned to the Barbarian, their acting leader here, just as he had been their acting leader in Lut Gholein, where they had fought together for the first time, and collectively, given Eristarisis the opening to plunge his blade in to the heart of Myfesto and kill the Lord of Terror, "Decoy. Feint within a distraction while the real strike comes from another direction."

As usual, he was speaking in riddles, that irritated his comrades somewhat but with such a past between them, they were used to it, and their roles in reacting to it. The blue haired sorceress spoke first, "Meaning?" even as she juggled two tiny globes of electrical energy between her fingers, alternately levitating them, before letting them fall a few inches, switching her attention between the two globes.

"Nercrosia, direct you minions to attack them along the Western expanse of the camp, where their defenses are weakest, and most obvious expecting an attack. Larzuk, and his cannons will support your attack, to provide cover and to ensure that they think we're hitting them with our full strength." Drawing the dirk from the rack of them attached to his chest, over his armor, he began sketching an outline in to the ground.

"Keep it up as long as you, hammer them hard, curses, everything and every trick that you have up your sleeve. Meanwhile, Valkyr, you will hit them on their left flank. Protection over there amounts to several guard towers with spotters. Eliminate the demons and the defenses there go silent. We've seen this pattern before. The tower demons guide the demonic catapults on where to fire. Without the catapults, they'll lose a critical amount of their supporting fire. That's when the my brethren will charge, and raise chaos."

"The plan appears to be workable. Two questions remain. What is the Sorceresses role in this attack, and when do we strike?"

Estryer snarled quietly. Her and the Amazon had not seen eye to eye ever since, well, ever since they first met, and became traveling companions. Yet in battle, they had covered each other well, and trusted each other with their lives. It was the only reasons that he had invited both, for if he had invited one, the other would have come as well, regardless of whether she was invited or not. He'd heard rumors that the two were also involved in other ways, but had, learned not to ask… that night in Lut Gholein he still remembered well, especially the words of the healer who'd treated the magical burns, and extracted the arrow from his behind – literally.

"Estryer. Can you still cast that," uncertain of how to phrase his request, without offending her, "A large, flash of light?"

"You mean something loud, flashy and sure to attract their attention?" she asked, nodding in appreciation for his tact. Her powers were strong but she'd had a rather nasty run in once before, where she'd overdrawn on her powers, defeated her foe, but nearly killed herself in the process, and been saved by the barbarian "pig" she'd called him at the time. He nodded, "Yes."

She had just the spell in mind. And knew that it would definitely do the trick, the last question still remained, "Where do I place it?"

"Right over the middle of their encampment. We strike three hours after sundown. Everybody to your positions! Remember. Three hours after sundown, we strike. Estryer, with the spell first, followed by Larzuk and Necrosia, then Valkyr strikes their flank. I lead my brothers in to battle." The plan in place, the four dispersed. They had much work to do.

Hours later, the sun had set, the moon had risen, a single sickle shape that twinkled in the night sky as all around it, the stars shone brightly, but worryingly so, as light from the demon camp spilled to the heavens, and outwards, but not far enough to reveal any of the attackers hiding among the darkness and its surroundings. The stench of blood and death was so thick; it commanded the physical presence of a wall, that would repeatedly hammer your sense, forcing you to inhale its sweet and foul scent of decomposition of bodies in every direction, some human, but mostly demon at this point. The landscape was a broken and battered hulk that no longer even tried to admit that it had once been alive with the wonders of nature, nothing but death, destruction, chaos and fear for miles in every direction.

However, tonight, the Demons would learn fear, as the time dwindled away in steady amounts, as the seconds, minutes and finally the last hour passed. As If the sun had exploded in to existence, but a few hundred feet above the enemy encampment, the magical energy expanded outwards, with the energy of a dying start, bursting outwards, the downdraft of energy striking like a shockwave from an earthquake, breaking open and pouring dazzling light down on the enemy caught unaware.

Seconds behind the blinding flare as screeches and cries filled the air, as some moved to cover their eyes while other went blind from the stunning power of a single Sorceress of the High Templar Clan. The sound of gods anger and fury filled the air a dozen of Larzuk's special weapons, fired, their loud and long throaty roar, the staccato of twenty of them firing in succession would have drowned the beat and pulse of goblin war drums effortlessly. On and on the barrage rained down, all across the eastern expanse of the camp, setting everything a blaze. The fires consumed everything in their path be it metal, flesh, cloth or bone, an almost cleansing touch as they left nothing but ash and blackened snow. Better to leave the land a lifeless waste, than demonically tainted.

Even as the undead skeletons, and mages marched onwards towards victory, or death, uncaring in their unlife, obeying the orders they were given without question, not stopping the fight if a limb or body part happened to be hacked off…

From the South, the left flank of the attack, only the thrum of a bowstring could be heard, as Valkyr released her fourth arrow of the engagement, the crusader bow singing an enchanting song of death. She plucked demons from their watchtowers with ease. The last tower took a moment as she waited from the demons to intersect, killing the pair with a single shot. She whistled once, the pitch and tone like that of one of the old Artic Owls that used to call the mountain range home, before Baal's arriving and corrupting touch had leached much of the natural life from this expanse of now lifeless dirt.

The whistle was all it took, as the Barbarian horde thundered forward, their voices rising like a single organism in silence as they charged through the camp, killing everything in their path. The battle degenerated in to a wild melee, voices screaming lost amongst the symphony of war as steel met talon and cries of death, victory, and challenge, both human and demon, echoed across the snowy plains.

Eristarisis swung at two separate targets. The demon imp flooped over nearly pulverized. The Crush Beast grabbed his 'hammer. Surprising the beast was an easy matter: He let go, causing the beast to stagger a step as he charged at it, his other 'hammer raised over his head as he leapt upwards, with a roar that left his lips, stunning the enemy for but a moment. A moment was enough for him to plan both feet upon one of its shoulders and slam the hammer in to its skull with the inhuman strength he possessed. He rode the creature back to ground level and scooped up his fallen hammer, ducking beneath a slash of claws as he did so. He rose with a flying head butt, catching the minor demon in the chest, knocking it back before swinging both hammers, sandwiching the demons head between both.

Near him, the Duo were busy, striking at any and all targets at all ranges, spells, javelins and arrows lanced in and amongst the embroiled warriors, striking down demons in every direction as the demons sought to close, until a single wall of flame annihilated the half dozen that had come within slapping distance. Guided, enchanted arrows sang from the bow, each projectile finding the neck of a foe before detonating violently, often tearing them in to tiny pieces, sending blood arching out in gruesome trails everywhere.

Estryer's spell work was no less effective as she froze a group of demonic spell casters with a block of ice, before snapping her fingers, shattering the ice and the demons within. A wall of ethereal fire burned three frost arrows from existence. Then a sweep of her arm had the flames reach out to consume the group of archers potting arrows in to anything that moved.

Necrosia, always commanding his minions from the front, where a true commander belonged, unleashed his own brand of hell as he lashed out with the heavily bladed tonfa's, the poison upon their numerous points deadly to all demons and yet easily procured by anyone, even a necromancer had no difficulties carrying several dozen phials of holy water, which he'd used as impromptu grenades on more than one occasion thus far.

Holy Water also has the slight advantage of being one-step away, from being a healing potion, when combined with the correct ingredients. The healing potion, was not palatable, to say the least, but it did what it was supposed to do, in addition to producing other minor benefits. His skeletons, while not the most effective of warriors, were simply overwhelming the enemy one target at a time, as his archers and mages distracted other demon spawn, allowing the barbarians to finish an opponent before spinning to face their next.

The sudden howl that erupted from the encampment, did not bode well for the Warriors of Light as Shenk himself joined the battle, his whip lashing out, catching a Barbarian by the throat, before snapping it back to his side, the blade studded whip having torn open its victim's throat.

Necrosia's mind wandered as he caught one a sword against one of his tonfa's while using the other to shatter bones in his opponent, before firing off a death spiral curse. He dodged, and dodged again, as a Crush Beast swiped at him repeatedly, roaring its annoyance at the nimble necromancer that stood before it. Definitely not much help if he would up plastered on the claws of this monstrosity.

Strangely, in the small clearing in the middle of the camp when Eristarisis and Shenk met for the first time, a few trees, old, dead, and lifeless still stood. Shenk lashed out with his whip, missing as Eristarisis rolled under the attack, and came up with both 'hammers swinging, a double blow directly in to the monster's chest, a hard hammering hit that only staggered the monster. It leered unpleasantly at him and lashed out with a clawed hand. Rolling back around the demon, he took another solitary swipe at its knee, scoring a glancing blow as he rolled back to his feet, and took up a defensive stance, both hammers at the ready, one protecting his side, the other protecting his flank as he coiled on the balls of his feet.

Shenk obliged as he roared sending the whip out, but targeting one of the Giant Warhammers that he faced. The first tug nearly threw Eristarisis off his feet as he dug in his heels and dropped his other hammer. Reaching to his chest, he pulled the first dirk from its scarab on the rack that rested there, as he hurled the first of the magically enhanced and enchanted blades in to the right shoulder of the demon before him. Before letting a second and third fly. The overseer of the siege, had no chance to block them, nor did he have a chance to block the fourth, fifth or the sixth that speared in to his torso, and hip.

Eristarisis released his hold upon the 'hammer, causing Shenk to stagger, moments before another wave of Dirks flew out, the blades glowing in alternate colors, of red, green, pearl white, and blue, as magical nova energy contained within each blade struck with the power of the raw elemental magic. He was hurling the essences of life in to the undead, is akin to shining light upon the dark of shadows. Light overwhelms, light consumes and then fades, leaving nothing but peace in its place.

Exactly what was happening to Shenk, even as he pulled the last of the thirteen dirks from his already weakened and battered form. He roared once more, intent on charging in to finish his opponent, the Champion of the Barbarian Tribes. He never got the chance, as the elemental magics tore through his body, turning his skin a pale white as it began to break, spreading like the most virulent of diseases through his dark corpse.

Eristarisis stood and smirked, staring his opponent directly in its unholy blood red on black eyes, "Some Mutha-fucker's are always, trying to ice skate uphill." Hefting his last dirk in his left hand he tossed it upwards in to the air, spinning handle over blade, over handle as it rose, three, four, five and finally six feet in to the air, as it finally began its descent, even as Eristarisis turned his back on his foe, bending to collect his Giant Warhammers, Eladamri, and Shek'matan.

The last dirk still spinning through the air, a mere foot from the ground, as he rose and lashed out with his foot , sending the last dirk arching with balletic grace through the air, striking with precision, impaling his foe, Shenk, the Overseer of the Siege upon Horragath, through the skull between the eyes.

Around him, the raging battle became a one sided affair as the demons, with no real minds of their own, were unable to think or focus, and therefore, could not fight. Across the massive encampment, the Barbarians and the Skeletal support of Necrosia swept through like a red tide, as they slaughtered any and all who bore the mark of colors of Baal.

"Didn't seem to be fitting to help you out." Mused Estryer.

"You obviously did not need our help." Agreed Valkyr.

They looked at each other in surprise. The first they had ever agreed on in about ten years, after the incident. The nodded to each other, and clasped hands, before exchanging a sisterly hug.

Slinging the 'hammers back in to place, he turned as Necrosia moved to join the already flushed with success and accomplishment trio, "Well done. Today, we turned the tide. But Baal still awaits eternal judgment."

"Indeed," nodded Necrosia, "Shall we?"

The four turned as the marched away from the bloodied and tainted battlefield. Over his shoulder, Eristarisis turned to look at the four lifeless trees that stood entwined, pathetic and lifeless. He hoped that life would return to this place, now that evil had been cleansed from it, and the Barbarian City of Markel'thas could be rebuilt, on this very spot, with the Four Trees of Life, in the Center of the City, as had been before he left, where he had said his short functionary good byes to family.

Yes. Baal would pay for his crimes.

Eristarisis, the last descendent of the noble bloodline of Winterer would ensure that justice was done, and revenge was garnered for all who had fallen and lost.